Unit One: Scientific Literacy


Return to: Go to: ETAP 623 Spring 2020 (Zhang) | Brian's Profile Page | Unit 2: Using data intensive documents

Pie Graph on Energy Sources

Learning Objectives

  1. Learners will be asked to create their own definition of scientific literacy.
  2. Learners will predict how data intensive documents compliment scientific literacy

Do Now

  • Using your current knowledge of science, come up with a definition of what you believe it means to be scientifically literate. Think about what it means to:
  1. Understand Science
  2. "Do Science"
  3. Communicate in Science
  4. Share ideas in science
  • Watch the following YouTube video and revisit your definition of scientific literacy. After watching the video, re-write your definition of scientific literacy and write down any questions you may have. Write your initial ideas for how data intensive documents play a role in scientific literacy.



Read the following article that addresses science literacy and the importance of connecting to students' lives, by Noah Feinstein. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/sce.20414

The reading focused on how science literacy cannot be fully achieved until that knowledge is transferred to making meaningful decisions in society. "Research from both science education and public engagement tells us that people selectively integrate scientific ideas with other sources of meaning, connecting those ideas with their lived experience to draw conclusions and make decisions that are personally and socially meaningful" (Feinstein, 2010, p. 180). If this is true then teaching our students to become scientifically literate becomes an important task. People need to have a sound scientific knowledge base if they are going to make informed decisions that guide the future of our country. There is also research that suggests that there is a difference between literacy in science and being scientifically literate. Read through the following website and watch the video embedded in it: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/teachingresources/discipline/english/literacy/Pages/introduction_to_literacy_in_science.aspx

The website and video stated that being able to read and write in scientific ways is literacy in science. The ability to understand how complex systems and phenomena work in science is being scientifically literate. This is an important distinction to make because each discipline has its own specific skills and knowledge that make a person literate in that discipline. The diagram below summarizes their findings and shows the difference between the two types of literacies.

Literacy in Science vs. Scientific Literacy

Work Period

After reading and viewing the previous content, think about and answer the following questions:

  1. How has your definition of Science Literacy evolved throughout this unit?
  2. What is your revised definition of science Literacy after viewing the material?
  3. Predict, how does data intensive media plays a role in scientific literacy?